Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2017, 22:07   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

I have been battling my all-Raymarine professionally installed by ABYC certified installers electronics suite for 3.5 years now.

The problem with my current B60 Airmar (Raymarine E66086) transducer is that it will lose bottom and then start reporting 24 feet, or some other arbitrary number, when the bottom is say actually 800 feet according to the charts.

Really unnerving in foreign waters running the coast of Mexico. I want a transducer that when it doesn't know the depth, will tell me it doesn't know the depth!

I have poured over all the Airmar transducer specs (the manufacturer of the Raymarine numbered transducers) and it seems that all of them: the B60, the P319, and the P19 all are speced unsuitable for a 37 foot blue water cruising sailboat.They all say they are for slow trolling boasts up to 25 to 30 feet.

What really disappoints me is that retailers like the Defender catalog, West Marine, the Raymarine web site, etc. contradict these same Airmar transducer specs and recommend them for "sailboats" 25 feet and up.

That is, the retail distributors seem to be lying about the specs.

And believe me, I am suffering the consequences and seeing that they DO NOT hold bottom reliably just as the manufacturer Airmar is indicating in their own spec sheets as regards a cruising sailboat application.

Very frustrating.

Can anyone recommend a Raymarine compatible transducer that will tell the truth?

The head end is an e7D that I have been assured by Raymarine tech support during hours of tech support help should work fine with a B60, when the same Airmar specs say it will not.

And indeed in the real world they do not.

Am I just a bleeding edge, one percenter cruising sailor, that needs this reliability, when most of their market will just ignore the problem causing them no problems?

May day!

Thanks for any input on this subject.
__________________

Journeyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2017, 11:30   #2
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Toronto On Canada
Boat: Bristol 45.5
Posts: 736
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

My DST800 reads bottom just fine , it lies when it comes water temperature .

Maybe you just need a new unit ?

Regards John
__________________

Typhoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2017, 12:36   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

OK. I am going to install a DST800 with an N2K output onto my Raymarine STng backbone and see if that works.

It will be interesting to see if that inexpensive 100W DST800 combo speed/depth/temperature unit displayed on an i70, will out perform my 600W multi frequency 50kHz/200kHz transducer connected to a Raymarine e7D MFD with its embedded sonar module.

Thanks John.
Journeyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2017, 12:41   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

BTW John, what does your DST800 display when its out of its depth range?
Journeyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2017, 12:48   #5
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Toronto On Canada
Boat: Bristol 45.5
Posts: 736
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
BTW John, what does your DST800 display when its out of its depth range?
I have it read well over 700 feet at times .

I like the unit , it is nice having everything in one unit , but its not very accurate at water temperature reading , apparently these units have an issue with that. Others on this forum have had the same problem. Some have sent there's in for repair and faired no better. I will have to look at an HT200 , water temps are important when you are trying to track the gulf stream.

Regards
Typhoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2017, 13:27   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Location: Canada
Boat: Morgan Out Island 41
Posts: 1,058
Images: 2
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

Based on your specs I wouldn't say they the transducer is incompatible, but on the contrary, should work fine. A slow trolling boat moves at the speed of most sailboats! but I would agree that the behaviour of defaulting to 24ft when the depth is greater than 800ft is weird, Sounds more like the head unit doesn't know what to do with the data being returned.
pcmm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2017, 17:39   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

I had the same suspicions about the head unit, but I have replaced it now twice in vain.

My theory about the unsuitability of the B60 was reinforced when both an Airmar and a Raymarine transducer tech support expert told me they think I should use a fairing block transducer instead of the flush mounted B60. The Airmar guy said that the "boundary layer" for a longer hull is more interfering than a shorter hull and that's why the B60 is speced by them for less than 25 foot hulls.

Yet Raymarine literature continues to recommend the B60 for the e7D.

As for the fairing block recommendation, all I can say is I've never a sailboat with a block in decades of visiting a boat yard.

BTW the B60 is mounted in the same hole nicely forward of the keel that a transducer was in for years. That transducer and its display was about 5 RM generations ago and worked well. That is, when it was over 200 feet or so it would just show dashed lines. At this point I would love it if the e7D + B60 would do that.

Help!
Journeyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2017, 19:49   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Punta Gorda, Fl
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,728
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

I have a catamaran with a P19 transducer in the port hull connected directly to a c97 multifunction display and a dst 800 in the starboard hull connected through an ITC-5 converter and displayed on an I70. Both of these units suck to be kind. The P19 is actually better than the dst 800 in that it dependably reads the bottom when it can find it. It, like yours, seems to default to 24 ft when it can no longer find the bottom. It at least works when it can find the bottom. The DST 800-itc5-170 combination only works 50% of the time when it can find the bottom. This occurs at any depth, The unit counts down to 0 then back up to the real depth at random intervals. Sometimes it show 0 feet for a while and sometimes real depth, but never for long. This is not interference between the two transducers as I can turn off the port transducer and it still does the same thing. Whats more the wind instrument is connected through the same ITC-5 and when the depth instrument is working most of the time the wind instrument does not. I'm on my second ITC-5 and DST800 and it hasn't changed a thing. I can power down everything on the boat but the ITC5, and the I70 and it still does the same thing so it is not interference from anything. Basically the Itc-5/I70 combination is a piece of crap. My opinion on the C97/P19 problem is that there is a software error that tells it to display 24 ft when it looses the bottom. Both of our systems use the Lighthouse software and both have the same problem even though we have no hardware in common. That would seem to point to the software. I have not raised the 24 ft problem with Raymarine, but I did raise a couple of earlier issues on the support forum and they were corrected in later software patches. If enough people raise it an issue they do pay attention.
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2017, 07:26   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

Yikes. Thanks Bill, but that isn't good news if your DST800/ITC5/i70 is junk too. That was the way I was going to go to supplement the dangerously unreliable e7D/B60 combination.

So now what? I was thinking I could try the RM "SmartTransducer" version of the DST800 with its N2K output cabled directly to the STng backbone eliminating the need for the ITC5 interface to the i70. Oddly this DST800 with N2K output is speced at 50% greater depth range than your analog DST800 that needs the ITC5. But if its fundamentally LightHouse OS issues all bets are off.

Also a RM tech support guy has told me twice now that the DST800 is a lousy depth finder with its small surface area (since the embedded paddle wheel steals depth transducer area) and because it has a "fan shaped" sounding pattern to try and overcome dead rise issues up to 22°.

He said a much better choice is a DT800 which is a totally different beast with tilted element selections you choose to match your dead rise. It is speced at twice the depth range as the DST800 even though they are both 100W units.

But again, if depth performance is systemic to Raymarine software in their MFD and i70 heads, what's to do?

When I was a weekend sailor I probably ignored poor performance with these issues. And might even have chimed in on a forum like this saying my gear works fine.

But when you're running the 200 mile coast of Tehuantepec, which requires you to stick tight to varying bottom contours so you don't get blown offshore into monster waves, you redefine reliability.

I have more money than time to throw at this problem....but money is not helping as I'm not seeing a way forward.

Suggestions anyone?

Anybody know a deeply experienced rockstar Raymarine/Depth finder installer?
Journeyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2017, 08:17   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Boat: In Between Boats
Posts: 152
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

I have had nothing but trouble with Raymarine depth e127/B60. It's random as to when it's works. When it doesn't work, it goes to 45+ feet and then bounces all over the place. Then it will work, then it goes crazy ...

I'm going to connect it to an ITC-5 I just bought to see what happens. Was thinking the DST-800 would provide a solution if it looks like the B60 is bad but now I'm concerned about that logic.
Hearts Content is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2017, 12:55   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

Hearts, your description of your e127/B60 behavior matches my e7D/B60 behavior problems. And I arrived at the same troubleshooting strategy of testing the B60 through an i70 as you have. And just got off the phone with Raymarine to ask them specifically if the B60/ITC-5/i70 path would work as a troubleshooting step. The tech said yes. I asked what power and what frequency will the i70 supply and he said 125W at 200kHz. So it would hardly make use of the 600W and 50/200kHz B60 capability, but I was hoping it might prove to condemn the Raymarine e7D sonar software if the erratic behavior disappeared. But like you I am concerned that, as Captain Bill up thread reports, the ITC-5/i70 sonar software too seems to be junk. So I am not too keen on this diagnostic step. Particularly since it requires opening up my binnacle instrument pod, cutting the head off the cable termination, and running it over to the ITC/5 inputs.

I am more inclined to just accept the e7D (and any other RM MFD with built-in sonar)/B60 is crap and instead install another Instrument Transducer like Captain Bill has.

I will try to avoid his bad experience with the DST800/ITC-5/i70 by choosing a Raymarine DST800 or DT800 "SmartTransducer" with an N2K output. These monolithic units both generate and process the signal internally and transmit the result as N2K data. This way the i70's only role in the signal path is just to receive the depth data word off the backbone as a dumb repeater.

I just hope it was a different RM design team that did the monolithic design for the "Smart Transducers" than this other stuff.

Comments?
Journeyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2017, 13:51   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Punta Gorda, Fl
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,728
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

Journeyman; I should note that when the P19 looses the bottom the digital readout on the chart display reads 24 ft most of the time, occasionally -.-. If however I switch to the fish finder display, the fish finder is not painting a bottom at any depth and certainly not at 24 ft. If you are really worried about the depth you could use a split screen display with the chart and the fish finder. Your small 7 inch screen makes this a bit difficult but in a pinch it might be useful. Is Your system painting a 24 ft bottom on your fish finder display as well as on the digital readout.

Also note that the problem in the DST800/ITC5/I70 side seems to be in the ITC5/DST800 portion. The I70 is just reading the NMEA 2000 sentences off the backbone. The I70 can be completely cut out of the loop and it still has the problem. The C97 can be set to look at the ITC5 output for depth and it gives me the same crap readings as the i70, so the I70 has nothing to do with the problem. It can even be completely powered off and the results do not change. No is the the problem in the DST800 or the ITC5? I don't know, but analog sensors are pretty simple and generally either work or don't work. The ITC5 is an analog to digital converter and a small computer which takes the output from the converter and assembles nmea 2000 sentences and puts them on the bus. There are all kinds of places for this to go wrong, especially if there is a software problem or timing issue.
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2017, 07:04   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 166
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

•Cap Bill: Confirming the fish finder display has lost bottom when the digital depth goes to something ridiculously shallow will give the person on watch some reassurance, thanks for that.

And when the Raymarine tech support person told me yesterday that the "i70 puts out 125W at 200kHz" I should have caught his mistake, since it could only be the ITC-5 that is generating the sonar ping and frequency for the transducer.

My current plan is to fly back to the boat next week, haul it out, have the yard drill another hole in the bottom and install a DT800 transducer.

Again, I am hopeful that this all-in-one monolithic DT800 that does its own ping generation (100W), has a 12° tilted element for my dead rise, does the signal processing, does integral analog to digital conversion, and outputs N2K depth data to the backbone will be able to find bottom. But more importantly in an area where we think it should be deeper, does not start confidently reporting some scary shallow depth that brings all hands on deck to nervously discuss our location.

I will leave the e7D/B60 in place to use as a sonar assist for helping determine seabed type when anchoring and to compare against the DT800.

If my DT800/i70 performance proves to be no better than Captain Bill's DST800/ITC-5/i70 experience ... I'll rip all this junk out and start over.

But with what? Can anyone make an argument for a "gold standard" depth sounder? Garmin? Simrad? Furuno? What do the big boys use? What does say a Nordhaven 70 use? What does a volume dealer like Beneteau (who needs to minimize customer complaints) recommend to their customers?
Journeyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2017, 07:30   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Punta Gorda, Fl
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,728
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

Journeyman; I was out on the Ray marine tech forum last night and found a post from someone with a similar problem to mine with the dst800/ITC5/I70 system and he found the problem and the solution, though with no real help from Raymarine. He found that the shield ground wire (which is bare)from the depth sounder wire was shorting against some "unused" pins in the ITC-5. When he made sure that there was no contact with those "unused" pins his problems went away. The ITC-5 has a rubber insert in the cover which can press on the various wires. This is not a huge problem for the insulated wires but could be pretty major for this uninsulated shield wire. I'm going to deal with mine today and let you know how it goes. I think your plan to use a smart transducer to avoid the ITC5 is a wise move.
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2017, 09:40   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Marina del Rey
Boat: Hunter 31
Posts: 905
Re: Raymarine compatible depth transducer lies

I had a similar roblem with a P19 transducer and an ST60+ instrument. Make sure the connections are solid, also play around with the wires. Mine works better if the two of the three wires are reversed. All these transducers are the same, just the wiring is different to suit Garmin/Raymarine, etc. I would not be surprised if I have a Garmin transducer connected to a Raymarine ST60+ which works if the wires are switched. I hope it is clear what I mean.
__________________

Pizzazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
depth, marine, raymarine

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ST50 / 60 Depth Compatible ? markpj23 Marine Electronics 13 13-10-2017 09:39
My depth sounder LIES! trooper dan General Sailing Forum 24 17-05-2013 07:04
For Sale: Airmar Depth Transducer for Raymarine Instrument capnbob5698 Classifieds Archive 0 12-09-2011 17:24
Want To Buy: Raymarine Rotary Rudder Transducer and Fluxgate Transducer Kristian Classifieds Archive 0 22-02-2010 04:09
Furuno/Raymarine compatible? gosstyla Marine Electronics 4 24-12-2005 11:42

Advertise Here


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:37.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.